University of Regina program allows you to study in the country of your dreams

By Brenna Engel Posted: March 20, 2019 9:00 a.m.

Matthew Shelest soaking up the sun while studying in Progreso, a port city on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.
Matthew Shelest soaking up the sun while studying in Progreso, a port city on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Photo: Matthew Shelest

Environment and culture play an important role in how students experience their University education. Offering a choice of more than 450 institutions in over 80 countries, Study Abroad is a program at the University of Regina that gives students the opportunity to study almost anywhere around the globe.

This semester Andy Desautels, U of R business administration student, is taking classes at the University of Debrecen in Debrecen, Hungary east of Budapest near the Romanian border – as part of his Study Abroad experience. Desautels said that thanks to the Study Abroad team, he found the application process fairly seamless.


Andy Desautels takes in
a night market in
Debrecen, Hungary. Photo
supplied by Andy Desautels.

With so many places to choose from, it can be difficult to make a decision. Desautels included 10 different countries in his application.

“Not knowing where I would end up was a fun part of the process and definitely added some excitement,” said Desautels.

Janean Hodgson, manager of Study Abroad and Mobility, said that living in a foreign country gives people a different perspective on so many things, often expanding their world view and making them more open. These are qualities which employers value.

Nonetheless, adjusting to a new culture and country can be challenging. This is Desautels’ first time living in a country where English isn’t the first language. He said things like shopping in the local market for groceries have forced him to work on his Hungarian language skills. Another challenge is public transport.

“Although I’m used to the routes now, I definitely miss having the ability to jump in my vehicle and leave whenever I want. It has taught me great time management skills,” said Desautels, with a laugh.

Desautels said the best part so far has been the Hungarian people and the food. “Everyone is willing to help out and give recommendations. I’ve met some incredibly interesting people.”

He will be returning to Regina this spring, but he would love to do it again. “Coming from a University where not a single friend of mine had ever even considered studying abroad, I feel as though it is something every student should try.”

Many students are drawn to Europe, but increasingly locations in Central America are grabbing their attention.

Matthew Shelest is an International Studies student who recently studied in Progreso, Yucatan, Mexico. Shelest is learning Spanish and knew he wanted to go to a Spanish-speaking country. During his time in Mexico, Shelest had many opportunities to travel to other locations, including Colombia.

“My favourite part of my Study Abroad experience was for sure the people, they’re so nice, so accommodating. My Spanish wasn’t the greatest and they would help me out,” said Shelest.

The heat was a different story. “It was 38 degrees every day so you were constantly trying to find ways to get out of it,” he said. Thankfully, Regina provided a much-needed break, with considerably cooler temperatures upon his return.

Students are eligible to apply for the program once they have completed at least 30 credit hours and are registered as a full-time student.

“I would do it again in a heartbeat. I always tell people to do it, just get out of here and learn something new, travel, have fun,” said Shelest.

For more information about the U of R’s Study Abroad program, visit UR International.